LA cracking down on pot dispensaries under new law


FILE - In this May 14, 2013, Rosy Solis, left, and Nicole Denis help fill medical marijuana prescriptions at the Venice Beach Care Center medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer says his office is in the process of shuttering 38 pot shops that do not comply with a recently approved municipal ballot measure. It is not known if the Venice Beach Care Center will be affected. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file) | Zoom

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles have closed, and the city attorney says more will be shutting their doors soon, following a voter-approved crackdown.

Thirty-eight pot shops that do not comply with a municipal ballot measure approved earlier this year are in the process of being shuttered, City Attorney Mike Feuer said. Another 42 shops have decided on their own to close since July, when the new law took effect, he said.

Feuer promised Friday more prosecutions will come.

"We're going to see a major difference in the way that operators and property owners perceive the city," he told the Los Angeles Times ( http://lat.ms/17w3vyp).

The city had struggled for more than five years with how to regulate the budding medical marijuana industry. Voters in May overwhelmingly passed Measure D, which reduced the number of shops sharply, and taxed those that were operating legally under state and local laws.

There were nearly 1,000 nonprofit dispensaries in the city a few years ago. The measure allows only the 134 that opened before a moratorium was attempted in 2007.

Shops that meet the voter-approved criteria must move if they're located within 600 feet of a park, a school or a child-care facility.

To date, no pot shop operators or landlords _ who also can be prosecuted under the law _ have been jailed or fined, Feuer said.

City councilors passed an ordinance in 2010 to cut the number of shops to 70, but dispensaries filed lawsuits and the ordinance expired in 2012. The city then approved a ban, but repealed it two months later after enough signatures were gathered to put Measure D and two competing proposals on the ballot.

Dispensaries have filed lawsuits in federal court challenging parts of Measure D, according to an attorney representing several shops, but the city has yet to be served with papers.

"We want those dispensaries to be recognized as meeting the requirements of Measure D," attorney David Welch said.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and U.S. attorneys have raided clinics, prosecuted owners and filed lawsuits against landlords.

___

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Bad Idea
    The man behind a staged child abduction apologizes for scaring young kids, parents

  • Oso Clean
    An army of volunteers is making sure mudslide searchers get to put on warm, dry clothes

  • Vacation Time
    Two airlines are battling for your business and you're the winner
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.